Manchester City vs. Everton: Team News, Injury Updates, Projected Starting XIs
This article will cover team news and injury updates for both clubs. It will also project the starting XIs Roberto Mancini and David Moyes are likely to field.
With Manchester United favourites to beat Reading, it’s imperative that City get three points at home—something they’ve accomplished in 33 of their last 36 home league games (from Opta via Eurosport).
Manchester City Team News and Injury Updates
Joleon Lescott was diplomatic about his lack of opportunities to win back his starting role (via David Clayton at MCFC.co.uk):
I’ve been fit for a couple of weeks now and while it was disappointing to be left out of the squad at Chelsea and Wigan, the manager has to pick a team and bench that he thinks can do a job on the day and I respect that.
Kolo Touré was the backup centre-back that started on the bench in the 0-0 draw against Chelsea and the 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic.
Lescott's omission from Roberto Mancini's squad has created doubt over the long-term future of the former Everton defender. According to Mark Ogden at The Telegraph, Mancini will loan Lescott out in the January transfer window.
Meanwhile, Mancini ruled out James Milner's involvement against the Toffees after the Englishman pulled his hamstring against Wigan (via teamTALK.com).
In addition, the Manchester Evening News reported that Samir Nasri, who didn't play against Chelsea or Wigan due to a calf strain, is in the squad to face Everton.
|Micah Richards||Knee||BBC Sport|
City young gun John Guidetti tweeted on Tuesday that he was close to being fully fit, having not played a professional top flight match since April.
I ate a bit of chicken at my girlfriend’s birthday party, but it led to food poisoning.
The day after playing a game for Feyenoord, I couldn’t even stand on my right leg. I just fell to the ground.
A professor in the hospital where I was being treated said my career was hanging by a very thin thread. I burst into tears. I saw my whole future crashing down.
I wanted to win the Dutch title with Feyenoord, which was still possible at the time. I wanted to star for Sweden in the Euros.
And most of all I wanted to break into the first team at Man City, which I would definitely have done if I had not picked up the virus.
One minute I was in heaven, the next in hell. I could not believe it.
Everton Team News and Injury Updates
Leighton Baines, who has created 53 shots for his teammates compared to Lionel Messi's 19, could miss the game against Manchester City because of hamstring tightness.
Last season, Moyes used Sylvain Distin and Phil Neville as fill-in left-backs. Bryan Oviedo is also a viable alternative.
Speaking of Neville, he is rehabbing his knee after surgery and will be out for the foreseeable future.
David Moyes says he will give Leighton Baines 'every chance' in his race to be fit for Saturday's game at Manchester City.— Official Everton (@Everton) November 30, 2012
In the meantime, the dynamic Kevin Mirallas is back in training after a hamstring injury (via ToffeeWeb.com), but Moyes doesn't expect him, Seamus Coleman or Victor Anichebe to feature against City, according to the club's official website.
Manchester City and Everton Projected Starting XIs
Manchester City (3-5-2)
Joe Hart; Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasić; Maicon, David Silva, Yaya Touré, Gareth Barry, Aleksandar Kolarov; Sergio Agüero, Mario Balotelli
Oh, no. Not the 3-5-2 again.
There's a reason why Roberto Mancini changed from a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-5-2 during the win over Wigan Athletic. It was to test out his much-maligned decision to go with three at the back and that in-game adjustment sealed the game for City.
Until the 3-5-2 dramatically backfires on Mancini like the high line did for André Villas-Boas at Chelsea, the Italian will continue to incorporate the formation in one way or another.
Remember, this is the formation that was the cornerstone of Juventus' unbeaten 2011-12 Serie A season.
Barring injury, there is no reason why Balotelli shouldn't start. He finally scored his first league goal of the season and now he needs to get in rhythm.
Tim Howard; Tony Hibbert, Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin, Bryan Oviedo; Steven Naismith, Leon Osman, Darron Gibson, Steven Pienaar; Marouane Fellaini; Nikica Jelavić
Do you know who is tied for the highest key passes per game in Europe's elite leagues?
Everton must rest him. If he tears his hamstring against City, David Moyes will have some explaining to do.
Costa Rican Bryan Oviedo, who has played at left-back for Copenhagen, was quite good as a left winger against Norwich City.
It was a performance that enabled him to take home the Liverpool Echo's Man of the Match award.
Hopefully for Evertonians, he isn't the Costa Rican version of Alessandro Pistone.
Fellaini, as a deep-lying forward, has been phenomenal. He's created 21 shots for his teammates, he's comfortable with the ball at his feet and can operate as a facilitator.
When you add in his seven league goals, he's much better up front than as a defensive midfielder.
Props has to be given to Ben Dewison, a Bleacher Report commenter, who pointed this out from the onset.